Let me go ahead and call it out… There is an unspoken ideology in churches today —Pastors will not address personal spiritual issues about money. Although, we might talk—a little—about church budgets and contributions to the church; everything else concerning personal money tends to be off limits. If we are called to surrender every aspect of our lives then we should acknowledge that God is also the master of our finances.
Why is this when Jesus talked more about money than any other subject- more than his teaching on heaven and hell combined? Why did he put such an emphasis on money and possessions?
There’s an inherent union between our spiritual lives and how we think about and handle our pocketbooks. And we, as 21st century Americans, need to hear this message, however we just can’t stop there, but we need to also practice by giving up.
We live in a culture tormented by mass consumerism and individualism. Most everyone seems to have been bitten by the money bug- engaged in an endless, contagious pursuit of project self. We Christians are not immune. We are among the wealthiest of our faith in the world today and probably the most affluent single group of Christians in two thousand years of church history. And yet, the median Christian giver contributes less than 1% (0.62%) of the median Christian annual income of our great nation. A startling one in five self-identified Christians gives NOTHING at all.
How do we make sense of the disparity between our wealth and our seeming lack of financial generosity? This is a critical, spiritual concern for us all. Jesus tells us, “the place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.”
For the next few weeks, we’re going to continue to talk about money and the idea of what it means to have a heart of generosity. As we study what scripture has to say about money, we will discover what it means to be a steward rather than an owner- to live with an ethic of abundance rather than scarcity. As I said in my last sermon this is not about the church budget or building but this is a heart issue rather than a budget issue. This is heart issue rather than a building issue. This is a heart issue rather than a tax deduction issue. This is about your heart. It’s a call to surrender all things over to Jesus as Lord. This is an invitation to treasure Jesus. And when we treasure Him, we use our earthly treasure so others can treasure Him, too.